Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, Singapore, 2015

Toro Rosso accept Verstappen team order was unnecessary

2015 Singapore Grand Prix lap charts

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Max Verstappen disobeyed an instruction from Toro Rosso to let Carlos Sainz Jnr pass him in the closing stages of the Singapore Grand Prix – but the team later accepted that had been an unnecessary call.

Verstappen was trying to pass Sergio Perez in the closing stages of the race while being caught by his team mate.

“At the end of the race, we thought that Carlos would catch Max faster, because he had new [super-soft] tyres on, while Max had fitted used [softs],” explained team principal Franz Tost.

“Therefore, we calculated that Carlos could’ve had a better chance to attack Perez, but he didn’t close the gap to Max well enough to really demonstrate that he could do this, so there was no reason to end up swapping their positions.”

Verstappen had climbed from the back of the field to finish eighth. That was where he started before stalling his car on the grid.

“We have to find out what happened, because the anti-stall should have prevented this from happening,” said Tost.

2015 Singapore Grand Prix lap chart

The positions of each driver on every lap. Scroll to zoom, drag to pan, right-click to reset:

2015 Singapore Grand Prix race chart

The time difference between each driver, relative to the leader’ average lap time. Scroll to zoom, drag to pan, right-click to reset:

2015 Singapore Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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50 comments on “Toro Rosso accept Verstappen team order was unnecessary”

  1. Max is a sparkling driver!!! What a great show is to see him racing the others. It was going to be so dumb to make him give a place to Sainz. I know Sainz made room for him at the beginning, but what Max did by himself to pass the other cars speaks about his ability, especially after the problem at the start.

    1. Agreed I love watching Max! He earned his place, Carlos has all race to mix it with he mid pack, Max has a small window and he got results. Hugely impressive, can’t wait to see how much he can achieve in formula one. I think we are all in for a treat

  2. I thought they made that call because they thought Sainz was expecting a penalty of some sort, just going by what Coulthard says.

  3. I would really like to watch this race again but only from Max’s perspective/vantage point, as I really want to see how his sterling and fantastically remarkable efforts unfolded…

    1. Would probably look like this:

      Failed start.
      Lap after lap of nothing way out the back of the field.
      Getting lucky twice with safety cars.
      Overtaking, what, two cars? Whose tyres were pretty much dead anyway.

      So probably not that spectacular, or sterling or remarkable.

      1. During SC1 Max was enabled to unlap himself, but at the restart he still was 30+ seconds behind the Manors and Sainz. Was Max very lucky to drive top5 only laptimes and close the 30 sec gap to Carlos? Or was he quite remarkable being the underaged rookie that he is?

      2. Agreed. Like Hungary, he had all the luck thrown at his cockpit and took advantage. Sainz still had troubles of his own: dropping from (I think) 9th to 18th and behind the manors due to being stuck in neutral, got held up in pit lane and above all, ran a 3 stop strategy while max made do with a 2 stop strategy. IMO, carlos gets ignored when max gets lucky

      3. i would call it a little luck. We all knew there was a safety car coming at some point. Max drove qualifier laps and stayed out as long as possible and it happened. But you have to be there in the first place, to take advantage of the unlapping rule. The second SC was actually not in his favor, as he had just pitted, so all the other ones could pit, while he had to drive slow.

    2. Yeah that would be something.
      And indeed, FOM should monetize this kind if desire: “watch the race from driver x perspective” for 50 cent.
      They’re so greedy and so uncreative!

  4. First half: Lets see if we can make it to the end.
    Second half: Lewis has retired/time to go hell for leather!

  5. The way Eddie Jordan spoke to Verstappen post race made me laugh. He spoke to him like a teacher speaking to a child, not even a teenager a child. It was embarrassing and the way Verstappen responded was perfect.

    Max fought from being a lap down to being the lead Torro Rosso driver. He was attacking Perez but didn’t quite have the pace to pass which isn’t the same as being slower than Sainz. It was the right call.

    1. Everyone needs to stop treating him like a kid.

    2. Eddie Jordan, he most of all, should know that Formula 1 is NOT being in the army (an order is an order), he should know that pit wall-calls can be wrong (and this one was), he should understand that when a driver is screaming through the field overtaking one car after the other – full of adrenaline – after such a disastrous start – you cant order him to back of. Max Verstappen was defending his (starting) position which he caught back after a fantastic drive. He deserved to be there and he did it himself. It is Mr. Jordan who needs to step back (this time) but instead he was ‘disappointed’.
      Further more Perez was very fast on the straights in his Mercedes powered car. He was defending well even on harder compounds. It was clear that Carlos would not have been able to pass him.
      There were to few laps left end Perez makes very little mistakes.

    3. I seem to remember huge controversy about other drivers ignoring team orders (how we hated that Vettel guy), so Jordans question was at least legitimate.
      Max might not be a kid, but he sure is an adolescent. He should be rebelling against his parents now, but since his dad is his manager, mentor and probably best friend, he seems to save his puberty for established F1 drivers and his employer.
      I guess Coulthard said it best when he said “there seems to be a difference in maturity”. Sainz looked quite unbothered by the whole thing.

  6. Omg, why make the call in the first place… This is a very confusing call for both drivers, and only creates a disruptive atmosphere!

    1. That was exactly my biggest concern also. This does more damage than it does any good.

  7. Top 3 did not changed positions at all. Their consistency here is marvellous.

    And Seb just missed out on his 5th Grand Chelem by a thousandth of a second.

    1. It’d be hilarious if he had a grand chelem this year. But he almost did anyway….

  8. Between Verstappen, Vettel and Ricciardo for DotW I guess.

  9. You cannot deselect Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen, Daniil Kvyat, Lewis Hamilton from graph.

    1. Graph + iPhone = nightmare
      Things get stuck, nothing works – which I’m afraid is normal behaviour for iPhone. I’m already glad the site feels so much faster, I’m not bothered if graphs feel just as they did before.

  10. Verstappen was lucky when the safetycar came out while he already was in the pits, but the way he is driving, never giving up the places he finds to overtack and Sainz as well he came from 14th. Sometimes I think it is a shame we have a Formula 1 as we have it, think of all the drives that do not get a change because they have sponser issues. Think how much more fun F1 could be. Drivers like Vandoorne, Magnussen, Wehrlein, da Costa, Ocon, Lynn, King, Leimer, de Vries and Frijns to name a few. These might never get or had a chance. Think to have 30+ cars a point system awarding all drivers. Today we have some of the best drivers in F1, but not all of the best drivers.

  11. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    20th September 2015, 21:56

    Max is the TRUE heir to Schumacher / Senna (not Hamilton).

  12. I think VER is the driver to watch out for these days! He may not be on podium yet or likely to win a race anytime soon, but man it looks it he gives it everything! Just amazing to watch!

    1. VES (or did you mean vergne? :)

  13. While I do have a big bias vote towards Sainz, I think Verstappen could’ve been in the top 5 easily if it weren’t for the dud start. Absolutely stunning performance from him. Well done to both I say

  14. If Toro Rosso had made the cal with 20 laps to go, even 10, I could understand their strategy, but wait till the final couple laps? Good on Max for making a better call on his own.

    1. Toro Rosso made the call 15 laps to go, and Vers refused to comply for the fifteen laps.
      Sainz said this on the spanish broadcast.

      1. The last 15 laps?
        Now that is strange because Max was faster and pulling away from Carlos until he met Perez.
        Carlos was very cheeky to ask the team for that position and his comments afterwards trying to spin it his way failed miserably.

        The boy made a choice much adults would not dare to make.
        And boy was he right! #Blessing for F1

  15. Correction to your article, Verstappen was on used supersofts, not softs. Otherwise his progress through the field and staying miles ahead of Sainz would have been even more remarkable.

  16. Renault = lotus. I’m getting a little ahead of time now… ;)

  17. I understand Toro Rosso’s team order. I also understand that Sainz asked for it. But I also understand that Verstappen said ‘NO’. To me, the team was to blame. If they had asked Max a few laps earlier, and also had explained that he would regain his 8th place if Sainz would not succeed, it Max possibly would have agreed.

    And yet disobeying teamorders strike me. I am active in endurance karting. A very clear understanding is that drivers always comply with instructions from the pits. The pitmembers have a lot more information, so they can judge the situation better than the driver. The same in other sports: a football player must always follow instructions from the bench. In that respect I think racing (or sports in general) are quite like the army for example: you are expected to follow the orders of your captain, because it’s not the situation to ignore a command.

    So although I thought the the teamorder was unnecessary and even inappropriate, I also think that Verstappen had to honor it. But maybe because of this he is becoming the leader and I’m just a secondant.

    1. Ah well I see.. you mean AN ORDER IS AN ORDER!! Orders can be wrong, you know.

      1. An F1 driver should also be allowed to think for himself and that is what Max did.
        Otherwise, just have drones on the racetrack, I’m sure that technology is already here if they wanted it.
        I agree with Max – and so did the team afterwards by agreeing with his decision.
        In this instance I whole heartely agree that the team never should have made this call in the first place.

  18. ColdFly F1 ( @coldfly ) (@)
    21st September 2015, 10:25

    “At the end of the race, we thought that Carlos would catch Max faster, because he had new [super-soft] tyres on, while Max had fitted used [softs],” explained team principal Franz Tost.

    They were both on the Super-Softs! This makes it even worse from the team; not knowing what tyres their drivers are on!

  19. @keithcollantine I’m not sure if you made the typing error or that’s what you actually read but Verstappen was on Super Softs on his final stint, not softs

  20. Teamorders are killing!

  21. Is the following statement by Sainz accurate about Max?

    “This year I have let him by three or four times. He was told to let me by four times and didn’t. It’s a bit of a pain.”

    Sounds like Max is quite the brat and might be behaving like a 8 year old – not a 17 year old;). It’s funny cause I hear praise for Max but Sainz is 4-2 in races they’ve both finished and possibly 5-1 had he passed Max yesterday. Yet Max has 3 times more points because Sainz has had retirements in the races when Max passes him.

  22. @force-maikel Thanks for sharing – so he did know and simply decided to disobey the team’s order. The timing of the order or the reason are not as relevant. The petulant response suggests that Max didn’t even seriously consider the order. It was also a chance to let Sainz fall on his own sword as would NOT have passed Perez in all likelihood:-)

    He’s almost 3x ahead in the championship to Sainz BUT ironically he’s down 4-2 (including yesterday) in races they’ve both finished.

    I’m sure Seb, Lewis, Fernando and Dan are seeing what a great teammate Max could make. They may be better off signing up Mario Balotelli as a driver for their team:-)

  23. @keithcollantine
    Since the implementation of the new layout, the charts aren’t working properly anymore (at least for me):
    – I can’t deselect any drivers in the top row below the chart
    – There is no mouse-over text for a driver’s gap in a given lap anymore (there was already a problem in the old layout with that, meaning that I had to hover roughly a centimetre below the graph point I wanted to see); the graph point reacts to the mouse pointer, but doesn’t display anything

    Using Chrome in Windows 10.

    1. This doesn’t apply to the lap chart, though. That chart works perfectly for me.

    2. Oh, and the “Select all” and “Select none” options aren’t clickable, either.

    3. Same thing for me, Firefox on Win 7.

      1. That’s interesting.

        @keithcollantine
        For which browser was the new layout designed / which browsers or OS were used for the test?

    4. Update:
      Drivers in the top row can be deselected/toggled/whatever, but only by clicking the very lowest part of their checkboxes, i.e. the frame line.
      I don’t know if this is due to an update, or if I was just too clumsy yesterday. Anyways, that works, with some patience.

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